2021 Cirillo ‘The Vincent’ Grenache 14%
    Barossa Valley, South Australia. RRP $25

    From “vineyards planted in 1906 and 1901”, so these are seriously old vines yet readily available from at least one large retail liquor chain – sadly the vintage only appears on the back label.

    My fascination with modern Australian grenache continues; the freshness, fragrance, approachability, red fruits and spices send my senses into overdrive, and the wines are so versatile with food.

    This is a young wine, and it absolutely needs a few hours in a carafe /jug to reveal its inherent charms. There is a truly dramatic transformation after a few hours’ solitude in the decanter.

    It’s a youthful crimson colour, with a world of musk, clove, red liquorice, cranberry and chalk; savoury, fine textured tannins, pepper, salinity and mineral flavours that just dwell along. Insane value too, but you just gotta, gotta give it time (and swirling). What a beauty!

    Conclusion: You could cellar this for a few years, but it’s so rewarding already; enjoy with coq au vin, crispy quail, lamb chops or my gourmet forte – the chicken schnitzel.


    Chalmers Montevecchio Rosso ‘Field Blend’ Heathcote 2020
    ABV 14% RRP $16

    After a detailed chat with the friendly, helpful and informed gentleman at the Seddon Wine Store, I settled on the perfect accompaniment to my Tuesday night. You can thank Chalmers for introducing to Australia a swath of old world, lesser known varieties that wine makers (including yours truly) experiment with to create truly unique gems. This field blend comprises Aglianico, Pavana, Lagrein, Teroldego, Piedirosso and Lambrusco Masetri; just a handful of the many hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of unique red grape varieties indigenous to Italy alone! Please don’t let this daunt you. I’m a learned wine nerd and even I’d not heard of a couple of these varieties. Precise tasting notes are on the bottle to guide you on what to expect; think bay leaf, liquorice tea and black pepper. I also picked up hints of cooking spice, bitter dark chocolate and forest floor. There’s enough fruit in this to carry the serious savoury notes but still, just like any classic Italian, I’d recommend enjoying this with food. The estate grown fruit was handpicked, co-fermented using wild yeast, basket pressed and is vegan friendly. Without breaking the bank, this a perfect gateway to living more dangerously with your wine choices and steering away from the safer, more common varieties. Go on, you know you want to…

    Pair with: Thin crust pizza with salami, olive, green capsicum and cheese. 

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